This Week in Pac-10 Women's Basketball

Jan. 9, 2006

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THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
January
12 (Th)
*OREGON STATE at ARIZONA
, 7 p.m.
Series: 22-18 (ARIZ) Last Meeting: 78-59 (ARIZ)

*OREGON at ARIZONA STATE, 6:30 p.m. (KAZ-TV)
Series: 25-15 (ORE) Last Meeting: 54-47 (ASU)

*USC at WASHINGTON STATE, 7 p.m.
Series: 28-11 (USC) Last Meeting: 69-62 (USC)

*UCLA at WASHINGTON, 7 p.m.
Series: 24-14 (WASH) Last Meeting: 86-81 (UCLA)

14 (Sa)
*OREGON at ARIZONA, 12 Noon (FSN)
Series: 21-17 (ORE) Last Meeting: 69-51 (ORE)

*OREGON STATE at ARIZONA STATE, 4 p.m. (KAZ-TV)
Series: 19-19 Last Meeting: 66-56 (ASU)

*USC at WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.
Series: 25-16 (WASH) Last Meeting: 73-68 (USC)

*UCLA at WASHINGTON STATE, 1 p.m.
Series: 32-6 (UCLA) Last Meeting: 68-63 (UCLA)

*CALIFORNIA at STANFORD, 2 p.m. (Comcast)
Series: 37-4 (STAN) Last Meeting: 81-40 (STAN)

*Conference game
All times are local to site

THIS WEEK IN THE POLLS
AP (1/9); USA Today/ESPN/WBCA (1/3)
ARIZONA STATE - 15/9
CALIFORNIA - --/RV
STANFORD - 14/16
UCLA RV/--
USC - RV/--
WASHINGTON - RV/RV

CONFERENCE WEEKLY NOTES (1/9)

ROAD WOES:
The path to the Conference title is looking like a fight to see which team can pick up a win on the road ... Six of 10 Pac-10 teams remain unblemished at home, while every squad has suffered at least one loss outside the confines of its home arena ... STANFORD has notched three league wins on the road, while WASHINGTON and CALIFORNIA have each secured two ... Likewise, those three squads currently own the top three spots in the Conference.

PAC-10 PARITY: With three weeks of Conference play wrapped up, the only clear indication of the outcome of the 2005-06 season is that a title is up for grabs ... Five different squads - ARIZONA STATE, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington - have each graced the top of the Pac-10 standings, albeit not for long ... Further, six teams have hit the double-digit win mark, with the Bruins needing just one more victory to earn their 10th win on the year ... Eight of 10 teams also own a .500 mark or better.

WHO'S GOT THE HOT HANDS: This week's look at who's hot: Only one other visiting player in Mac Court history scored more points than Stanford SO G Candice Wiggins did on Sat., Jan. 7 ... Wiggins was 14-of-21 from the field, 5-of-6 from downtown for a career-high 37 points ... She averaged 27.5 points on the weekend, shooting a hot 65.6 percent from the floor, while improving her season scoring average to 20.3 ppg, good enough to pace the Pac-10 ... After averaging just 10 ppg in her three previous contests, UCLA JR G Noelle Quinn returned to lead the Bruins in both games over the weekend, averaging 21 points and seven rebounds ... USC JR G Shay Murphy notched back-to-back 20-point games over the weekend, including a 22-point effort in the Women of Troy's 58-50 upset of No. 9 Arizona State on Fri., Jan. 6.

STOLEN RECORD: With her first steal in UCLA's 84-77 victory over ARIZONA on Fri., Jan. 6, SR G Lisa Willis became the Pac-10's all-time career steals leader, with 317 and counting ... Teammate SR G Nikki Blue is also moving up the same list, currently sitting at No. 4 with 293 career steals.

REBOUNDING CLINICS: Feel free to invite the following Pac-10 hoopsters to your next rebounding clinic, as they are making a name for themselves off the glass ... California FR F/C Ashley Walker, in her last three games, has amassed 41 boards, good enough for a 13.7 average to rank fourth in the Conference ... A steadfast offensive and defensive rebounder, WASHINGTON STATE JR F Kate Benz was held to a season-low four rebounds against Washington on Sat., Jan. 7, but still maintains a 10.5 average to rank first in the Pac-10 ... OREGON STATE SO F Tiffany Ducker ranks third in the Pac-10 with a 7.5 rpg average, after picking up 13 boards over two games last week.

NON-CONFERENCE SLATE: With just two regular season non-conference games left on the Pac-10 schedule, the league has amassed a 65-27 (.706) record in 2005-06 ... The 65 non-league wins are the most since the 1996-97 season when the 10 Pac-10 teams went a combined 69-29 (.701) ... In that season, five teams went on to earn NCAA Tournament bids ... The last two games will feature UC Santa Barbara - which has a 2-0 record against Pac-10 teams this season - against Stanford on Thurs., Feb. 9, and OREGON STATE against Texas-Pan American on Mon., Feb. 27.

ATTENDANCE NUMBERS: Through 118 Pac-10 games played, over 233,000 fans have come out to see some of the best collegiate basketball in the nation ... In home attendance marks, OREGON leads the way with over 25,000 fans, good enough for a 3608 average.

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES (1/9)

ARIZONA (5-10, 1-4):
Arizona played two tough games on the road, unable to pick up a win, but showed significant improvement that should help overall confidence ... The Wildcats dropped an 84-77 loss to UCLA on Fri., Jan. 6, as well as a 76-60 decision to USC two days later ... UA is 5-10 overall, 1-4 and in eighth place in the Conference ... The team drained 15 3-pointers on the weekend to jump from seventh in the Pac-10 to fifth with 76 made on the season ... JR G Joy Hollingsworth had an outstanding series against the LA schools, averaging 18 ppg, while pulling down 10 rpg ... Hollingsworth has led all UA scorers in five consecutive games ... SO F Ché Oh recorded her first double-double of the season on Tues., Jan. 3 against Wisconsin-Green Bay ... Oh notched 12 points and 10 rebounds ... Arizona will take on Oregon State on Thurs., Jan. 12, followed up with a Sat., Jan. 14 game against Oregon ... The `Cats will be looking to extend their six-game win streak against the Beavers ... Against UO, Arizona has won six of the last seven matchups.

ARIZONA STATE (12-3, 3-2): After reaching No. 9 in both the AP and USA Today/ESPN/WBCA polls last week, Arizona State faltered on the road, getting edged by USC on Fri., Jan. 6, 58-50, as well as losing to UCLA, 77-69, on Sun., Jan. 8 ... The Sun Devils are 3-2 in the Conference, 12-3 overall ... SR F Kristen Kovesdy picked up her third double-double of the season with a 12-point, 10-rebound effort against the Bruins ... Kovesdy also moved up to No. 8 on the ASU career points chart with 1,158 ... The Sun Devils committed an uncharacteristic 51 turnovers last week, including a season-high 28 in Sunday's game ... JR F Aubree Johnson averaged nine points and six rebounds over both games, while tying her season-best 11 points against UCLA ... ASU's winningest head coach Charli Turner Thorne needs one more victory to reach the 200-win mark in her career ... The Sun Devils continue to shoot a Pac-10 leading 47.2 percent from the floor ... The team will look to rebound from its two losses with a series at home, taking on Oregon on Thurs., Jan. 12, followed up with a Sat., Jan. 14 contest with Oregon State.

CALIFORNIA (12-4, 4-2): Much of the buzz surrounding Pac-10 women's basketball has been the improvement of the California program over the span of one season ... Hitting the road last week for a series up in Oregon, the Bears split the away games with a 71-50 decision over Oregon State on Sat., Jan. 7, after falling, 70-41, to Oregon on Thurs., Jan. 5 ... The Bears sit at 4-2 and in a tie for third place in the Conference, while owning a 12-4 overall record ... A staple of head coach Joanne Boyle's program is defense and the young squad has bought into her philosophy, ranking first in the league in scoring defense with a 55.1 average ... The mark is much improved, as this time last year Cal gave up over 67 points per game to rank eighth in the league ... Just 16 games into her freshman season, F/C Devanei Hampton is looking anything but inexperienced ... Hampton ranks seventh in the Conference with a 15.5 scoring average, while pulling down 7.0 rpg to rank fifth among all players ... She is also giving her team, which is shooting 42.3 percent on the year, much needed second chance opportunities, leading the league in offensive rebounds (3.07) ... Next up, the Bears will take on traditional rival Stanford, Sat., Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. ... The game will be televised on Comcast.

OREGON (10-4, 1-3): Oregon, outscoring its opponents by nearly 14 points per game, doubled its win margin with a 70-41 victory over California on Thurs., Jan. 5, but could not hang on as Stanford picked up a hard-fought battle, 76-64, on Sat., Jan. 7 ... The Ducks are 10-4 overall, 1-3 in the Conference ... Starters SO C Gabrielle Richards, JR G Cicely Oaks and SR G Chelsea Wagner combined to score 42 points in Thursday's action ... Wagner hit 5-of-8 3-pointers, improving her Pac-10 leading 3-point field goal percentage to an even 50 percent (32-of-64) ... SR G/F Brandi Davis sits right behind her in third place with a 45.2 clip (14-of-31) ... Oregon is second in the Conference with a 3-point field goal percentage of 37.6 ... The Ducks have been getting solid bench production with the help of JR F/C Carolyn Ganes and SR F/G Kedzie Gunderson who combined for 26 points and 11 rebounds against the Cardinal ... Gunderson also dished out a career-high six assists ... Overall, UO's bench outscored Stanford, 28-5 ... Oregon will take to the road to play at Arizona State on Thurs., Jan. 12, followed with a Sat., Jan. 14 contest with Arizona in Tucson.

OREGON STATE (6-6, 0-4): Oregon State dropped two decisions to the Bay Area schools, losing 80-60 to Stanford on Thurs., Jan. 5, while also getting defeated by California, 71-50, on Sat., Jan. 7 ... The Beavers are 6-6 overall, 0-4 in the Pac-10 ... SR F Kim Butler averaged 14.5 points over the weekend, while also pulling down seven rebounds ... JR G Casey Nash chipped in nine points off the bench in Thursday's action ... The Beavers rank fourth in the league in blocked shots with a 3.67 average, after swatting away four against Cal ... SO F Tiffany Ducker and SR F Karen Vickery both rank in the Top-10 in individual blocked shots, at third (1.50) and ninth (0.92), respectively ... OSU will head to the Arizona schools this weekend, taking on the Wildcats on Thurs., Jan. 12 and the Sun Devils on Sat., Jan. 14 ... Oregon State and Arizona State's series record is tied at 19 apiece, but the Beavers have not bested ASU since the 2002-03 season when they picked up a 70-45 win ... That year was also the last time OSU defeated UA, claiming a 71-65 overtime win.

STANFORD (10-4, 5-1): After somewhat of a different start for perennial powerhouse Stanford, the Cardinal look to have settled into a rhythm, winning four straight, including the last two on the road ... The team picked up an 80-60 win over Oregon State on Thurs., Jan. 5, and then went on to defeat Oregon, 76-64, in a hard-fought game on Sat., Jan. 7 ... The Cardinal own a 5-1 league record to maintain first place in the Conference, as well as a 10-4 overall mark ... Of those four losses, all have been by eight points or less ... Most telling for head coach Tara VanDerveer, and one of the biggest question marks coming into the season, has been the rapid development of her young team ... FR G Rosalyn Gold-Onwude has been solid in the starting lineup ... The budding point guard leads the Conference in assist to turnover ratio, in a two to one average (2.10) ... FR F Jillian Harmon made her return home a memorable one, scoring 22 points and grabbing six rebounds against OSU ... SO G Candice Wiggins guided the Cardinal to a road sweep for the first time since the 2002-03 season, scoring a career-high 37 points against UO ... Stanford will take on California on Sat., Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.

UCLA (9-6, 4-2): UCLA snapped two losing streaks over the weekend, including a two-game streak against Arizona with a 84-77 win on Fri., Jan. 6, as well as a three-game stretch against the Sun Devils, as UCLA bested the ninth-ranked team in the country, 77-69, on Sun., Jan. 8 ... The team is tied for third place in the Pac-10 with a 4-2 record, 9-6 overall ... JR G Noelle Quinn led the Bruins in scoring in both victories, notching 18 and 24 points on identical 8-of-17 shooting in both games ... UCLA is now 17-1 when Quinn scores 20 points ... The prolific scorer had been quiet as of late, held to a season-low eight points against Stanford on Sun., Jan. 1 ... SR G Lisa Willis took sole possession of first place on the Pac-10 career steals charts ... She now has 317 and counting ... FR C Chinyere Ibekwe came off the bench on Friday to score 15 points in 21 minutes for UCLA ... Guided by an experienced back court, the Bruins pace the Pac-10 in turnover margin with a +5.07 mark, while they also rank second in the league in assist to turnover ratio (1.11) ... The team will hit the road for games up North, taking on Washington on Thurs., Jan. 12 and Washington State on Sat., Jan. 14.

USC (10-5, 4-2): USC picked up a huge upset win over ninth-ranked Arizona State on Fri., Jan. 6, 58-50 ... The victory was USC's first over a Top-10 team since Jan. 25, 2004 ... The Women of Troy also scored a 76-60 win over Arizona on Sun., Jan. 8 to improve to 10-5 on the year, 4-2 in the Conference ... USC is tied for third with California and UCLA in the standings ... Spurring the squad on to victory was JR F Shay Murphy who posted her ninth consecutive double-figure scoring output, notching 22 points against ASU, while adding 20 in the win over the Wildcats ... Murphy also posted a career-high five assists in Sunday's game ... The Trojans were held to a Conference series season-low eight 3-pointers, despite their prolific range from downtown ... The team has made 104 through 15 games played, good enough for a 6.93 average to rank second in the Pac-10 ... USC will travel to the Northwest to take on Washington State on Thurs., Jan. 12, along with Washington on Sat., Jan. 14.

WASHINGTON (11-3, 4-1): Washington eked out a 73-70 win over in-state rival, Washington State on Sat., Jan. 7 to improve to 11-3 overall, 4-1 in the Conference ... The Huskies are in sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 and will play their next home stand this weekend against UCLA on Thurs., Jan. 12, followed up with a Sat., Jan. 14 contest against USC ... JR F Breanne Watson scored 12 points and added a team-high seven rebounds to guide UW to the three-point victory ... It was Watson's second-straight double-figure scoring output, and her third in the last four games ... SO F Andrea Plouffe also added to the Huskies' inside game, dropping a team-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting against the Cougars ... JR G Cameo Hicks continues to be solid from the line, having hit 41-of-52 free throw shots for a .788 clip, good enough to rank seventh in the league.

WASHINGTON STATE (6-8, 0-5): In a span of eight games ranging from the 2000-01 to the 2003-04 season, Washington State lost to traditional rival, Washington, by an average of 18 points ... In the two schools' previous three meetings, that number has dwindled down to a 4.6 scoring margin ... Needless to say, the Cougars have come a long way and that was no more apparent than in their 73-70 loss to UW on Sat., Jan. 7 in Pullman ... After suffering a concussion on Dec., 29, Charmaine Jones came off the bench against the Huskies to rally her team with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting, getting to the line 10 times, and knocking down eight of those ... She also added five assists and two steals ... SR F Keisha Moore chipped in 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks ... WSU also lost a close Tues., Jan. 3 contest to Eastern Washington, 57-54 ... The team is now 6-8 overall, 0-5 in the Conference ... Next up, the Cougars will take on USC on Thurs., Jan. 12 and UCLA on Sat., Jan. 14 at Beasley Coliseum.

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